July is famous for light breezes and little swell, which encourages anglers to head offshore in droves. There are heaps of snapper and pearlies around the reefs at the moment with North Reef, Chardons Reef, the Barwon Banks and the Hards producing some outstanding fish. Micro-jigs are a great way to fish these areas.
Sweetlip have been well spread throughout most of the major reefs, with some bigger fish caught during the lower light periods. There has still been the odd coral trout taken from Sunshine Reef – fishing hard to the reef is the best way to come into contact with a trout, so a running sinker rig with the sinker all the way down to the hook should see results. Don’t forget that lumo bead just above the hook to stop that big ball sinker damaging the knot.
We’ve seen an abundance of live bait on most of the reefs lately, so make sure you have your bait jigs handy for when you come across a patch. There are also big cobia hanging around at this time of the year and they love nothing more than live bait on a slow sinking floater rig. We see plenty of whales migrating up the coast, so if you’re planning on a night fish or an early morning start, be aware.
On the southern reefs good snapper, sweetlip and tuskies have all been on the chew. Overnight trips have been very productive, particularly when we have smaller tides and less run. Try to get a good berley trail going and then send down a couple of light or even unweighted baits. Snapper will be drawn in by the berley and will hopefully find your baits.